Oncology Rounds

The latest news and research on cancer care from the Oncology Roundtable.

Do you have the right chemo nurse staffing ratios?

by Jacob Dingle and Emily Heuser January 13, 2020

Optimal staffing ratios are critical to the success of any cancer program, but variable patient complexity and task acuity makes it difficult to land on a staffing model that works well across the board. Correctly calibrated nurse staffing levels are particularly important to maintain efficiency in infusion centers. By far, the most common question we receive from cancer programs is, "How many chemo nurses should I have?"

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Ready for 2020? Make sure you're up to speed on our top oncology reads of 2019.

by Deirdre Saulet and Emily Venner December 16, 2019

This year was marked by treatment and technology innovations and significant regulatory changes that will impact cancer care providers. Catch up on any stories you missed and review our takeaways as you plan for 2020.

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CMS' chemotherapy measure: What cancer programs need to know

by Deirdre Saulet and Aasheen Qadri December 3, 2019

We've been getting a lot of questions about OP-35, the first chemo-specific measure in the Hospital Outpatient Quality Reporting Program (OQR)—questions ranging from how it's calculated, to the impact it will (or will not) have on hospital reimbursement, to how programs can leverage this data. Check out our four key takeaways for every cancer program.

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CMMI outlines potential next steps in oncology payment reform—the Oncology Care First Model

Deirdre Saulet November 11, 2019

With the Oncology Care Model (OCM) set to end in just over a year and a half, we've been wondering when the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) would share its intentions for the next phase of oncology payment reform. We got a glimpse on Friday, November 1, when CMMI published an informal RFI on the Oncology Care First (OCF) model. With comments on this model due by December 13, interested stakeholders don't have time to waste, but the good news is that it's only 12 pages long. Read our quick take below and submit your comments ASAP.

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The 2020 HOPPS final rule brings major changes to physician supervision—and more—for cancer programs

Deirdre Saulet , Ashley Riley November 7, 2019

Editor's note: This blog post was updated on January 22, 2020.

Last week was action-packed. On top of the World Series (go Nats!), Halloween, and daylight savings, CMS decided to loosen physician supervision requirements for outpatient therapeutic services! Keep reading to find out what else CMS finalized in its 2020 Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System (HOPPS) final rule and the implications for cancer programs. 

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How are your peers managing immunotherapies? Here’s what you need to know.

by Ashley Riley and Deirdre Saulet October 21, 2019

Immunotherapy is one of the most significant developments in cancer treatment in recent history. With the potential to improve outcomes for certain patient populations, it's no surprise that global cancer immunotherapy revenue is estimated to increase by 300% from 2018 to 2024. Exciting, but not without challenges, such as making sure providers and patients are knowledgeable and ready to take advantage of these innovations.

Here's what your peers said are their biggest challenges and priorities when it comes to checkpoint inhibitors and CAR T-cell therapy.

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Oncology staff burned out? Engage and retain your staff with these targeted strategies.

by Deirdre Saulet and Emily Venner October 7, 2019

Oncology, along with all of health care, has a burnout problem, and it's critical to address as burnout impacts workplace wellness, productivity, and even care quality. Not surprisingly, burnout can manifest in workforce turnover, incurring high costs for re-hiring staff and losing the valuable experience of long-term employees.

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Don't know how to lower costs and raise quality? Your pharmacists do.

by Jacob Dingle and Deirdre Saulet September 27, 2019

Although pharmacists are an integral part of the cancer care team, evidence suggests their skills are not being fully utilized. In the 2018 ACCC Trending Now in Cancer Care Survey, 89% of programs reported employing either pharmacists or pharmacy technicians, and 75% reported employing both types of staff.

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